Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Moscas Stenomicra sp. (Diptera: Periscelididae) en hojas enrolladas de Heliconia sp. y Calathea sp.


Caroline Brandt



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Publication Date

June 2019


Stenomicra are a genus of small, often yellowish flies of the family Periscelididae (Diptera). The Stenomicra I studied live in leaves of Heliconia sp. and Calathea sp. in Monteverde, Costa Rica. While not much is known about their biology, I suspected that some factors may influence whether or not they will be found on a particular leaf. I proposed that the amount of matter found within the rolled leaves, other arthropods within the leaves, and the stage of the rolled leaf affect whether or not the Stenomicra flies inhabit them. I found that none of the above factors contribute to whether or not you will find them on a rolled leaf; as long as it is even a little rolled, it is likely that they will be there, and they do not require a certain amount of matter in order to inhabit a leaf. I found that number of arthropods in a leaf does not affect the amount of matter in a leaf as well. I also suspected that the ephemeral phytotelmata of these rolled leaves may serve as the larval home of Stenomicra, so I clipped off the bases of the leaves so that I could search for larvae under a microscope. I found two fly larvae in the matter inside the rolled leaves, one of which is Stenomicra. Because of this, it may be possible that the Stenomicra that inhabit these rolled leaves complete their entire life cycle within them. Stenomicra es un género de moscas pequeñas, a menudo amarillentas, de la familia Periscelididae (Diptera). Los individuos de Stenomicra que estudié viven en hojas de Heliconia sp. y Calathea sp. en Monteverde, Costa Rica. Si bien no se sabe mucho sobre su biología, sospeché que algunos factores podrían influir en si se encontrarán o no en una hoja en particular en estas plantas. Propuse que la cantidad de materia almacenada encontrada dentro de las hojas enrolladas, la presencia de otros artrópodos dentro de las hojas, y la etapa de la hoja enrollada afectan si las moscas Stenomicra habitan esas hojas o no. Descubrí que ninguno de los factores anteriores determina si las moscas habitan una hoja enrollada: mientras esté un poco enrollada, es probable que estén allí y que no necesiten una cierta cantidad de materia acumulada para habitar una hoja. Además, la cantidad de artrópodos en una hoja no afecta la cantidad de materia acumulada. Por otro lado, sospeché que los fitotelmata efímeros de estas hojas enrolladas pueden servir como el hogar de larvas de Stenomicra, así que corté las bases de las hojas para poder buscar larvas bajo un microscopio. Encontré dos larvas de mosca en la materia acumulada en las hojas enrolladas, una de las cuales es Stenomicra. Con este hallazgo, es posible que las moscas Stenomicra que habitan estas hojas enrolladas completen su ciclo de vida completo dentro de ellas.


Student affiliation : Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz Born Digital



Holding Location

[Monteverde Institute] IMVI



Stenomicra sp. Flies (Diptera: Periscelididae) on rolled leaves of Heliconia sp. and Calathea sp.



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